The Alabama shad is a U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service Species of Concern
Species of Concern are those species about which the U.S. Government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service
, has some concerns regarding status and threats, but for which insufficient information is available to indicate a need to list the species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act
The Alabama shad spawns in medium to large flowing rivers from the Mississippi River drainage to the Suwannee River, Florida. They are found in some Gulf coast drainages, but are thought to be extirpated from those drainages west of the Pascagoula drainage in Mississippi (Adams et al. 2000, Mettee and O’Neil 2003, Boschung and Mayden 2004).
Alabama shad are a schooling species. Within habitat types, they tend to select cooler water temperatures (Mickle 2006). Juveniles remain in fresh water for the first six to eight months of their lives, feeding on small fishes and invertebrates (Ross 2001).
Although once abundant enough to support commercial fisheries in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Iowa, Alabama shad are now rare throughout much of their former range (Ross 2001, Adams et al. 2000). The species is thought to have declined largely because of the many locks and dams blocking access to spawning areas and altering hydrology and river substrates (Adams et al. 2000, Ross 2001, Mettee and O’Neil 2003, Boschung and Mayden 2004).
American Fisheries Society: Vulnerable
Species of Greatest Conservation Need: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, MO.
No formal status reviews have been completed, but current research is on-going.
Adams, S.B., S.T. Ross, and M.L. Warren Jr. 2000. Literature review, information needs assessment, and research proposal for Gulf sturgeon, Alabama shad and American eel: diadromous fishes of USFS Region 8. USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research, Oxford, MS.
Boschung, H.T., and R.L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Books, Washington D.C., pp 736.
Mettee, M.F., and P.E. O’Neil. 2003. Status of Alabama shad and skipjack herring in Gulf of Mexico drainages. In: Limburg, K., and J. Waldman (eds) Biodiversity, status, and conservation of the world’s shads. American Fisheries Society Symposium 35, Bethesda, MD, p 157-170.
Mickle, P.F. 2006. Life history of the juvenile Alabama shad, Alosa alabamae, in the Pascagoula River. M.S. Thesis, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, pp 54.
Ross, S.T. 2001. The inland fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson.